Volume 16 Issue 2 No. 124 February 2020
Cover Story, The Legend of the Winding Stairs Did You Know? The Broken Column Lodge Perla del Oriente No. 1034 Famous Freemasons – Bernard Spilsbury Rays of Masonry The Old Past Master The Handshake The Long Way Around is the Best Way Home Early Masonry A Masonic Lodge in the Skies Did You Know? The Old Master – A Poem
Main Website – Are There Cowans in our Midst?
In this issue: Cover Story ‘The Legend of the Winding Stairs’ An Investigation into the symbolism of the Winding Stairs and the real meaning and objects behind them.
Page 5, ‘Did You Know?’ Questions about the Craft. Page 8, ‘The Broken Column.’ How this Masonic symbol came to be. Page 12, ‘Lodge Perla del Oriente No. 1034. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 16, ‘Bernard Spilsbury’ Famous Freemasons. Page 20, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “What Masonry Teaches” Page 20, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “Masonic Libaries”, eleventh in the series. Page 22, ‘The Handshake.’ Page 23, ‘Reflections.’ The Long way around is the best way home? Page 24, ‘Early Masonry.’ From Operative to Speculative. Page 27, ‘The Masonic Lodge in the Skies’ Page 28, ‘Did You Know?’ What is the correct position of the rough and smooth Ashlars in the Lodge room? Page 30, ‘The Old Master.’ A Poem
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Are There Cowans in our Midst?.’ [link] 2
Front cover –The Winding Staircase from Pintrest..
The Legend of the Winding Stairs. In an investigation of the symbolism of the winding stairs, we shall be directed to the true explanation by a reference to their origin, there number, the objects which they recall, and their termination, but above all by a consideration of the great design which an assent upon them was intended to accomplish. The steps of this winding staircase commenced we are informed, at the porch of the Temple; that is to say, at its very entrance. But nothing is more undoubted in the science of Masonic symbolism than that the Temple was the representative of the world purified by the Divine Presence. The world of the profane is without the Temple; the world of the initiated is within its sacred walls. Hence to enter the Temple, to pass within the porch, to be made a mason, and to be born into the world of Masonic light, are all synonymous terms. Here, then, the symbolism of the winding stairs begins. The Apprentice having entered within the porch of the temple, has begun his Masonic life. But the first degree in masonry is only a preparation and purification for something higher. The Entered Apprentice is the child in Masonry. The lessons which he receives are simply intended to cleanse the heart and prepare the recipient for that mental illumination which is to be given in the succeeding degrees.
As a Fellow Craft, he has advanced another step, and as the degree is emblematic of youth, so it is here that the intellectual education of the candidate begins. And therefore, here, at the very spot which separates the porch from the sanctuary, where childhood ends and manhood begins, he finds stretching out before him a winding stair which invites him, as it were, to ascend, and which, as the symbol of discipline and instruction, teaches him that here must commence his Masonic labour here he must enter upon those glorious though difficult researches the end of which is to be in the possession of divine truth. The winding stairs begin after the candidate has passed within the porch and between the pillars of strength and establishment, as a significant symbol to teach him that as soon as he has passed beyond the years of irrational childhood, and commenced his entrance upon manly life, the laborious task of self-improvement is the first duty placed before him. He cannot stand still; his destiny requires him to ascend, step by step, until he has reached the summit, where the treasures of knowledge await hi. The numbers of these steps in all the systems is odd. The coincidence is at least curious that the ancient temples were always ascended by an odd number of steps; so that commencing with the right foot at the bottom, the worshipper would find the same foot foremost when he entered the temple, which was considered as a fortunate omen. But the fact is, that the symbolism of numbers was borrowed by the masons from Pythagoras, in whose system of philosophy it plays an important part, and in which odd numbers were considered as more perfect than even ones. Hence, throughout the Masonic system we find a predominance of odd numbers, and while three, five, seven,
and nine, are all-important symbols, we seldom find a reference to two, four, six, or eight. The odd number of stairs was therefore intended to symbolize the idea of perfection; to which it was the object of the aspirant to attain. As to the particular number of the stairs, this has varied at different periods. The Tracing-boards of the nineteenth century have been found, in which only five steps are delineated, and others in which they amount to seven. The prestonian lectures, used at the beginning of the century gave the whole number of thirty-eight. The error of making an even number, which was a violation of the Pythagorean principle of odd numbers as the symbol of perfection, was later corrected. At the union of the two Grand Lodges of England the number was reduced to fifteen, divided into three series of three, five, and seven. At the first pause which he makes he is instructed in the peculiar organization of the order of which he has become a member. But the information here given, is barren, and unworthy of his labour. The rank of the officers and the required number can give no knowledge which he has not before possessed. We must look therefore to the symbolic meaning of these allusions for any value which may be attached to this part of the ceremony. The reference to the organization of the Masonic institution is intended to remind us of the union of men in society, and the development of the social state out of the state of nature. He is thus reminded, in the very outset of his journey, of the blessings which arise from civilization, and of the fruits of virtue and knowledge which are derived from that condition. Masonry itself is the result of civilization; while, in grateful
return, it has been one of the most important means of extending that condition to mankind. All the monuments of antiquity prove that as man emerged from the savage to the social state then came the invention of architecture. As architecture developed as a means of providing convenient dwellings and necessary shelter from the harshness of the seasons, with the mechanical arts connected with it, for as we began to erect solid and more stately edifices of stone, they imitated the parts which necessity had introduced into the primitive huts. and adapted them to their temples, which, although at first simple and rude, were in the course of time, and by the ingenuity of succeeding architects, wrought and improved to such a degree of perfection on different models, that each was by way of eminence, denominated an order of architecture. Advancing in his progress the candidate is invited to contemplate another series of instructions. The human senses, as the appropriate channels through which we receive all our ideas of perception, and which, therefore, constitute the most important sources of our knowledge, are here referred to as a symbol of intellectual cultivation. Architecture, as the most important of the arts which conduce to comfort of mankind, is also alluded to here, not simply because it is closely connected with operative instruction of Masonry, but also as the type of all the other useful arts. In his second pause, in the ascent of the winding stairs, the aspirant is therefore reminded of the necessity of cultivating practical knowledge So far, then the instructions he has received relate to his own condition in society as a
member of the great social compact, and to his means of becoming, by a knowledge of the arts of practical life, a necessary and useful member of society. Still must he go onward and forward. the stair is still before him; its summit is not yet reached, and further wisdoms are to be sought for, or the reward will not be gained, nor the middle chamber the abiding-place of truth, be reached. In his third pause, he therefore arrives at that point in which the whole circle of human science is to be explained. Symbols, we know, are in themselves arbitrary and of conventional signification, and the complete circle of human science might have been as well symbolized by any other sign or series of doctrines as by the seven liberal arts and sciences. But Masonry is an institution of olden time; and this selection of the liberal arts and sciences as a symbol of the completion of human learnings one of the most pregnant evidences that we have of its antiquity. In the seventh century, and for a long time afterwards, the circle of instruction to which all the learning of the most eminent schools and most distinguished philosophers was confined, was limited to what were then called the liberal arts and sciences, and consisted of two branches, the trivium and the quadrivium. The trivium included grammar, rhetoric, and logic; the quadrivium comprehended arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. These seven arts were supposed to include universal knowledge. He who was master of these was thought to have no need of a preceptor to explain any books or to solve any question which lay within the compass of human reason, the knowledge of the trivium having furnished him with the key
to all language, and that of the quadrivium having opened to him the secret laws of nature. But we are not yet done. It will be remembered that a reward was promised for all this toilsome ascent of the winding stairs. Now, what are the wages of a Speculative Mason? Not money, nor corn, nor wine, nor oil. All these are but symbols. His wages are truth, or the approximation to which it will be most appropriate to the degree into which he has been initiated. It is one of the most beautiful, but at the same time most abstruse, doctrines of the science of Masonic symbolism that the Mason is ever to be in search of truth, but is never to find it. This divine truth, the object of all his labours, is symbolized by the Word, for which we all know he can only obtain a substitute; and this is intended to teach the humiliating but necessary lesson that the knowledge of nature, of God, and of man's relation to them, which knowledge constitutes divine truth, can never be acquired in this life. Only at the end of this life shall he know the origin of life. The middle chamber is therefore symbolic of this life, where the symbol only of the Word can be given, where the truth is to be reached by approximation only, and yet where we are to learn that truth will consist in a perfect knowledge of the G.G.O.T.U. This is the reward of the inquiring Mason; in this consist the wages of a Fellow Craft; he is directed to the truth, but he must travel farther and ascend still higher to attain it. It is then, as a symbol, and as a symbol only, that we must study this beautiful legend of the winding stairs. if we attempt to adopt it as a historical fact, the absurdity of its details stares us in the face, and wise men will wonder at our credulity. Its inventors
had no desire to thus impose upon our folly; but offering it to us as a great philosophical myth, they did not for a moment suppose that we would pass over its sublime moral teachings to accept the allegory as a historical narrative without meaning, and wholly irreconcilable with the records of Scripture, and opposed by all the principles of probability. To suppose that eighty thousand craftsmen were weekly paid in the narrow precincts of the Temple chambers is simply to suppose an absurdity. But to believe that all this pictorial representation of an ascent by a winding staircase to the place where the wages of labor were received, was an allegory to teach us the ascent of the mind from ignorance, through all the toils of study and the difficulties of obtaining knowledge, receiving here a little and there a little, adding something to the stock of our ideas at each step, until, in the middle chamber of life, in the full fruition of manhood, the reward is attained, and the purified and elevated intellect is invested with the reward in the direction how to seek truth and knowledge; to believe this, is to believe and to know the true design of Speculative Masonry, the only design which makes it worthy of a good and wise man's stud.
One step at a time. This Article was sourced from the various Masonic websites and is freely available throughout the Internet.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Were Euclid and Pythagoras Masons? What is the Masonic significance of the 47th proposition? Answer: Euclid (or Euklides) lived around 300 BC. He was a mathematician from Alexandria and the author of a treatise on Geometry. Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher and mathematician who lived during the 6th century BC. Neither were Masons by trade, and since speculative Masonry as we know it today did not start before the 17th century, they were obviously not speculative Masons. The most interesting part of the question refers to the significance of the theorem incorporated in the Past Master's jewel. The correct description of this jewel was given in the first Book of Constitutions following the Union of the two Grand Lodges in 1813. It reads: 'The square and the diagram of the 47th proposition 1st Book of Euclid engraven on a silver plate pendant within it.' The 47th proposition had been used in speculative Craft masonry since at least 1723. When Anderson referred to it in his first Constitutions. There are many references to the proposition during the 18th century, but there is no early evidence of its use as part of a jewel until about the 1780's. The pattern then was different from that we use today; it was known as the 'gallows' type. The square was in the form of a right angle, long side down, short side horizontal, and from this short side was suspended a plate showing the pattern of the 47th proposition; it was rather like a man hanging from the gallows; hence the name.
We cannot be absolutely sure why the proposition was chosen as the jewel for the Past Master. We know that geometry has always been closely linked with the Craft; in fact, one of the Old Charges, dealing with Geometry says 'Geometry is now called masonry'. In 1723 Anderson said 'the 47th proposition... is the foundation of all masonry'. In fact, he was treating the proposition as the symbol of all geometry. The jewel itself is not a symbol; it is the badge of a Past Master. Remember the square in Freemasonry is the symbol of moral perfection. Speculative Masonry teaches a man to shape his thoughts and actions by the square so as to erect a spiritual building, perfect in all its parts. Bro. Harry Carr suggested that in considering the Masonic symbolism of the Past Master's jewel, we should disregard the jewel itself and concentrate on the proposition. Question: What is the origin and significance of our procedure with regard to money and metallic substances in the preparation of the Candidate? Answer: The polluting influence of metal is stressed several times in the Bible. Here are two examples: And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. (Exodus, xx,25.) And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard
in the house, while it was in building. (1 Kings, vi, 7.) The idea of pollution by metal seems to have been common in many countries and we find it in various mythologies, e.g., in the Baidur myth, the mistletoe may not be cut with iron. Although we have descriptions of ritual and ceremonial procedure in a number of documents from 1696 onwards, the earliest hint of this practice appears in the Graham MS. of 1726: How came you into the Lodge - poor and penniless (sic) blind and ignorant of our secrets. Pritchard's exposure, Masonry Dissected, dated 1730, emphasized the 'metallic' aspects of the procedure of those days, but he gave no reason for it: Q). How did he bring you? A. Neither naked nor cloathed, barefoot nor shod, deprived of all Metal and in a right moving Posture. The next description - from a similar source - Le Secret des Francs-Macons, by the Abbe G.L.C. Perau, was published in France in 1742, and it is much more detailed: After he has satisfied these questions, he is deprived of all metal articles he may have about him, such as buckles, buttons, rings, (snuff)-boxes, etc. There are some Lodges where they carry precision so far as to deprive a man of his clothes if they are ornamented with galon (i.e., a kind of gold or silver thread). Another French exposure, Le Catechisme des Francs-Macons, seems to have been the
first document of this kind to give the reasons for the procedure: Q. Why were you deprived of all Metals? A. Because when the Temple of Solomon was in building, the Cedars of Lebanon were sent all cut, ready for use, so that one heard no sound of hammer, nor of any other tool, when they used them. (Note the Biblical quotation referred to stone; Le Catechisme and later French texts speak of the Cedars of Lebanon.) A more extended symbolism began to make its appearance towards the end of the 18th century and the following is an unusual interpretation from Preston's First Lecture, Section ii, Clause 1: Why deprived of metal? For three reasons: first reason, that no weapon be introduced into the Lodge to disturb the harmony; second reason, that metal, though of value, could have no influence in our initiation; third reason, that after our initiation metal could make no distinction amongst Masons, the Order being founded on peace, virtue and friendship. There can be little doubt that the presentday procedure is a survival of the idea of pollution from metal and, since the Candidate for Initiation is symbolically erecting a Temple within himself, that is probably the reason why the 'deprivation' has remained a part of our practice throughout more than two centuries. Question: What do you understand by 'that gloom which rests on the prospect of futurity'? Does it mean that man must live in continual dread of death? Answer: Taken on the face of these words alone and thinking of the present meaning of the word 'gloom' in our language it is not surprising if you should imagine that its
import is as you suppose. Yet in this passage we have to remember three things. The first is that these words are set in the context of an action that has already taken place for the one who hears them. Whatever the full nature of his feelings at this moment he must surely realise that whatever the darkness, or the place of his resting a little while ago, he has been restored to life with his companions and there is hope in his prospects. It is therefore most unlikely that he is being thrust back into a state of despondency and fear. It is not that kind of gloom. The second is that the word is related to three others which are close to it -darkness, visible and veil. The word is thus meant to link with something connecting it to eventual light. It is not a state of mind but a stage of experience. Where the mason now stands is a place where he does not yet see the glory that is to be his for that is veiled from him by the limited, glimmering ray which only penetrates so far. The 'gloom' is in fact like the light of the 'glamr' (the 'moon' in old Norwegian) and the 'gloaming' of more modern Scots. He is in the twilight area which prevents us from yet seeing what lies ahead for us in the future. The third is that at the end of the charge in which the words occur the Mason will be given the promise of how, by lifting his eyes up afresh, the gloom will be dispersed by 'that bright morning star' which will show what the future really does hold. It is simply present dimness which limits our vision -not fear and dread -for these will be trampled under our feet. The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
The Broken Column
altered, changed their original design, until the very principle which first enabled the Wrights to fly, the "warping wing", is now discarded and never used.
The story of the broken column was first illustrated by Amos Doolittle in the "true Masonic Chart" by Jeremy Cross, published in 1819.
Therefore, if authorities argue and contend about the marble monument and broken column it is not to make objection or take credit from Jeremy Cross; the thought is that almost any invention or discovery is improved, changed, added to and perfected by many men. Edison is credited with the first incandescent lamp, but there is small kinship between his carbon filament and a modern tungsten filament bulb. Roentgen was first to bring the "x-ray" to public notice-the discoverer would not know what a modern physician's x-ray apparatus was if he saw it!
Many of Freemasonry's symbols are of extreme antiquity and deserve the reverence which we give to that which has had sufficient vitality to live long in the minds of men. For instance, the square, the point within a circle, the apron, circumambulation, the Altar have been used not only in Freemasonry but in systems of ethics, philosophy and religions without number. Other symbols in the Masonic system are more recent. Perhaps they are not the less important for that, even without the sanctity of age which surrounds many others. Among the newer symbols is that usually referred to as the broken column. A marble monument is respectably ancient-the broken column seems a more recent addition. There seems to be no doubt that the first pictured broken column appeared in Jeremy Cross's True Masonic Chart, published in 1819, and that the illustration was the work of Amos Doolittle, an engraver, of Connecticut. That Jeremy Cross "invented" or "designed" the emblem is open to argument. But there is legitimate room for argument over many inventions. Who invented printing from movable type? We give the credit to Gutenberg, but there are other claimants, among them the Chinese at an earlier date. Who invented the airplane? The Wrights first flew a "mechanical bird" but a thousand inventors have added to,
In the library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa in Cedar Rapids, is a book published in 1784; "A BRIEF HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY" by Thomas Johnson, at that time the Tiler of the Grand Lodge of England (the "Moderns"). In this book the author states that he was "taken the liberty to introduce a Design for a Monument in Honour of a Great Artist." He then admits that there is no historical account of any such memorial but cites many precedents of "sumptuous Piles" which perpetuate the memories and preserve the merits of the historic dead, although such may have been buried in lands far from the monument or "perhaps in the depth of the Sea". In this somewhat fanciful and poetic description of this monument, the author mentions an urn, a laurel branch, a sun, a moon, a Bible, square and compasses, and the letter G. The book was first published in 1782, which seems proof that there was at that time at
least the idea of a monument erected to the Master Builder. There is little historical material upon which to draw to form any accurate conclusions. Men write of what has happened long after the happenings. Even when faithful to their memories, these may be, and often are, inaccurate. It is with this thought in mind that a curious statement in the Masonic newspaper, published in New York seventyfive years ago, must be considered. In the issue of May 10, 1879, a Robert B. Folger purports to give Cross' account of his invention, or discovery, an inclusion, of the broken column into the marble monument emblem. The account is long, rambling and at times not too clear. Abstracted, the salient parts are as follows. Cross found or sensed what he considered a deficiency in the Third Degree which had to be filled in order to effect his purposes. He consulted a former Mayor of New Haven, who at the time was one of his most intimate friends. Even after working together for a week, they did not hit upon any symbol which would be sufficiently simple and yet answer the purpose. Then a Copper-plate engraver, also a brother, was called in. The number of hieroglyphics which had be this time accumulated was immense. Some were too large, some too small, some too complicated, requiring too much explanation and many were not adapted to the subject. Finally, the copper-plate engraver said, "Brother Cross, when great men die, they generally have a monument."
friends that he had the foundation of what he wanted. He said that while in New York City he had seen a monument in the southwest corner of Trinity Churchyard erected over Commodore Lawrence, a great man who fell in battle. It was a large marble pillar, broken off. The broken part had been taken away, but the capital was lying at the base. He wanted that pillar for the foundation of his new emblem, but intended to bring in the other part, leaving it resting against the base. This, his friends assented to, but more was wanted. They felt that some inscription should be on the column. after a length discussion they decided upon an open book to be placed upon the broken pillar. There should of course be some reader of the book! Hence the emblem of innocence-a beautiful virgin-who should weep over the memory of the deceased while she read of his heroic deeds from the book before her.
"That's right!" cried Cross; "I never thought of that!"
The monument erected to the memory of Commodore Lawrence was placed in the southwest corner of Trinity Churchyard in 1813, after the fight between the frigates Chesapeake and Shannon, in which battle Lawrence fell. As described, it was a beautiful marble pillar, broken off, with a part of the capital laid at its base. lt. remained until 1844-5 at which time Trinity Church was rebuilt. When finished, the corporation of the Church took away the old and dilapidated Lawrence monument and erected a new one in a different form, placing it in the front of the yard on Broadway, at the lower entrance of the Church. When Cross visited the new monument, he expressed great disappointment at the change, saying "it was not half as good as the one they took away!"
He visited the burying-ground in New Haven. At last he got an idea and told his
These claims of Cross-perhaps made for Cross-to having originated the emblem are
disputed. Oliver speaks of a monument but fails to assign an American origin. In the Barney ritual of 1817, formerly in the possession of Samuel Wilson of Vermont, there is the marble column, the beautiful virgin weeping, the open book, the sprig of acacia, the urn, and Time standing behind. What is here lacking is the broken column. Thus it appears that the present emblem, except the broken column, was in use prior to the publication of Cross' work (1819). The emblem in somewhat different form is frequently found in ancient symbolism. Mackey states that with the Jews a column was often used to symbolize princes, rulers or nobles. A broken column denoted that a pillar of the state had fallen. In Egyptian mythology, Isis is sometimes pictured weeping over the broken column which conceals the body of her husband Osiris, while behind her stands Horus or Time pouring ambrosia on her hair. In Hastingsâ€™s Encyclopedia Of Religion And Ethics, Isis is said sometimes to be represented standing; in her right hand is a sistrum, in her left hand a small ewer and on her forehead is a lotus, emblem of resurrection. In the Dionysaic Mysteries, Dionysius is represented as slain; Rhea goes in search of the body. She finds it and causes it to be buried. She is sometimes represented as standing by a column holding in her hand a sprig of wheat, emblem of immortality; since, though it be placed in the ground and die, it springs up again into newness of life. She was the wife of Kronus or Time, who may fittingly be represented as standing behind her. Whoever invented the emblem or symbol of the marble monument, the broken column, the beautiful virgin, the book, the urn, the acacia, Father Time counting the ringlets of hair, could not have thought through all the
implications of this attempt-doubtless made in all reverence-to add to the dignity and impressiveness of the story of the Master Builder. The urn in which "ashes were safely deposited" is pure invention. Cremation was not practiced by the Twelve Tribes; it was not the method of disposing of the dead in the land and at the time of the building of the Temple. rather was the burning of the dead body reserved as a dreadful fate for the corpses of criminals and evil doers. That so great a man as "the widow's son, of the tribe of Naphtali" should have been cremated is unthinkable. The Bible is silent on the subject; it does not mention Hiram the Builder's death, still less the disposal of the body, but the whole tone of the Old Testament in description of funerals and mourningâ€™s, make it impossible to believe that his body was burned, or that his ashes might have been preserved. The Israelites did not embalm their dead; burial was accomplished on the day of death or, at the longest wait, on the day following. According to the legend, the Master Builder was disinterred from the first or temporary grave and reinterred with honour. That is indeed, a supposable happening; that his body was raised only to be cremated is wholly out of keeping with everything known of deaths, funeral ceremonies, disposal of the dead of the Israelites. In the ritual which describes the broken column monument, before the figure of the virgin is "a book, open before her." Here again invention and knowledge did not go hand in hand. There were no books at the time of the building of the Temple, as moderns understand the word. there were rolls of skins, but a bound book of leaves made of any substance-vellum, papyrus,
skins-was an unknown object. Therefore there could have been no such volume in which the virtues of the Master Builder were recorded. No logical reason has been advanced why the woman who mourned and read in the book was a "beautiful virgin." No scriptural account tells of the Master Builder having wife or daughter or any female relative except his mother. The Israelites reverenced womanhood and appreciated virginity, but they were just as reverent over mother and child. Indeed, the bearing of children, the increase of the tribe, the desire for sons, was strong in the Twelve Tribes; why, then, the accent upon the virginity of the woman in the monument? "Time standing behind her, unfolding and counting the ringlets of her hair" is dramatic, but also out of character for the times. "Father Time" with his scythe is probably a descendant of the Greek Chromos, who carried a sickle or reaping hook, but the Israelites had no contact with Greece. It may have been natural for whoever invented the marble monument emblem to conclude that Time was both a world-wide and a time immemorial symbolic figure, but it could not have been so at the era in which Solomon's Temple was built. It evidently did not occur to the originators of this emblem that it was historically impossible. Yet the Israelites did not erect monuments to their dead. In the singular, the word "monument" does not occur in the Bible; as "monuments" it is mentioned once, in Isaiah 65-"A people...which remain among the graves and lodge in the monuments." In the Revised Version this is translated "who sit in tombs and spend the night in secret places." The emphasis is
apparently upon some form of worship of the dead (necromancy). The Standard Bible Dictionary says that the word "monument" in the general sense of a simple memorial does not appear in Biblical usage. Oliver Day Street in SYMBOLISM OF THE THREE DEGREES" says that the urn was an ancient sign of mourning, carried in funeral processions to catch the tears of those who grieved. But the word "urn" does not occur in the Old Testament nor the New. Freemasonry is old. It came to us as a slow, gradual evolution of the thoughts, ideas, beliefs, teachings, idealism of many men through many years. It tells a simple story-a story profound in its meaning, which therefore must be simple, as all great truths in the last analysis are simple. The marble monument and the broken column have many parts. Many of these have the aroma of age. Their weaving together into one symbol may be-probably is-a modernism, if that term can cover a period of nearly two hundred years. but the importance of a great life, his skill and knowledge; his untimely and pitiful death is not a modernism. Nothing herein set forth is intended as in any way belittling one of Freemasonry's teachings by means of ritual and picture. These few pages are but one of many ways of trying to illuminate the truth behind a symbol, and show that, regardless of the dates of any parts of the emblem, the whole has a place in the Masonic story which has at least romance, if not too much fact, behind it. Ssourced from Short Talk Bulletin - Vol. 34, February 1956
Lodge Perla del Oriente No. 1034.
The history of Freemasonry under the Scottish Constitution in the Philippines is filled with events that are of interest to the Fraternity. By its introduction into the Philippines there has been added an element of strength to the Craft as a whole. The establishment and progress of Freemasonry under the Scottish Constitution in the Philippines is of great concern to Masons of this country. On 1st June 1907, several brethren, recognizing each other as Master Masons in good standing, assembled at the residence of Brother Manuel Camus at 196 San Sebastian Street, Manila. Their purpose was to map out preliminary measures for the institution of a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons under the Scottish Constitution in Manila, Philippines. On 11th June 1907, a petition was prepared and signed by the brethren praying that the Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland grant a Charter for the constitution and erection of a Lodge in Manila, Philippine Islands, to be known as "Lodge Perla del Oriente" (Pearl of the Orient), to be conducted in the Spanish language, such petition to be presented
through the Bro. George Albert Watkins in Hong Kong, China. On 7th November 1907 the Grand Lodge of Scotland granted the Charter prayed for, transmitting it to the District Grand Master of Scottish Freemasonry in Hong Kong for consecration of the Lodge and the installation of the Office-bearers. As the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland provides that the Right Worshipful Master of a Daughter Lodge can be installed only by a Master or a Past Master of its own jurisdiction it was necessary for the Masterelect, Brother Manuel Camus, and his Deputy Master, Brother Francisco Aguado, to proceed to Hong Kong, where they were duly installed on 23rd April 1908 by the Bro. Gregory Paul Jordan, District Grand Master. The other officers were duly installed at the first regular meeting under Charter by the Lodge on 14th May 1908 at its new quarters at 70 Principe Street, San Nicolas District, Manila, by Brothers Manuel Camus and Francisco Aguado after their return from Hong Kong. At the same meeting several petitions for degrees were presented and considered. The first addition to the membership of the Lodge was by affiliation of Brother Eugenio Dieven from Dalisay Lodge, No.177, Gran Oriente Espanol of Spain. The first initiation was that of Manuel Martinez, and the first Brother to be raised to the Degree of Master Mason was Juan Lebron Ocampo. While it was the original intention of the founders of the Lodge to confine its ritualistic work to the Spanish language, it was not long, however, before American and other English-speaking candidates began knocking at the portals of the Lodge seeking for Light. To refuse due consideration of those who were worthy would be neither fraternal nor a full recognition of that universality of Freemasonry contemplated
by the principles of the order. It was soon realized that English was slowly but surely supplanting Spanish in the Philippines; therefore it was agreed that both the Spanish and the English languages be used, according to the tongue of the candidate, in the conferring of degrees. This action was heartily endorsed by the English-speaking brethren whose support and encouragement, attested by their frequent attendance at the meetings and their participation in the social functions, aided greatly in the up-building of the Lodge and its growth to its present position. The membership in the following years became cosmopolitan and according to a census made in 1916 there were 19 different nations and nationalities representing the membership of the Lodge, namely Spaniards, English, French, Germans, Italians, Russians, Swedes, Portuguese, Swiss, Scots, North Americans, Cubans, Mexicans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Malays, Filipinos, Australians and Chinese. Lodge Perla del Oriente, No.1034, S.C., since its foundation in 1908, has played a very important role in the progress and development of Masonry in the Islands and it has the unique distinction of having been the mutual meeting ground of members of the Gran Oriente Espanol and subordinate Lodges under the Grand Lodge of California during the early days of the civil government in the Philippines under the United States of America. It so happened that the Grand Lodge of California did not recognize the Gran Oriente Espanol as a regular Grand Lodge, and an edict was issued banning members of the Gran Oriente Espanol from visiting Lodges under the California jurisdiction and vice versa. Lodge Perla del Oriente, No.1034, S.C., under the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, has been a recognized regular Lodge in Manila, and fraternal relationships were then existing both with the Grand Lodge of California and the Gran Oriente Espanol, and consequently members of both jurisdictions were welcomed in the meetings of Lodge Perla del Oriente, No.1034, S.C. Conflicting opinions were advanced as to the propriety of the stand taken by Lodge Perla del Oriente. However, under the circumstances, Lodge Perla del Oriente could not do otherwise, and records show that the Grand Lodge of California sustained this stand, as it ruled that within the Halls of Lodge Perla del Oriente members of the Gran Oriente Espanol may be recognized and treated on an equal level by members of Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California. Such meetings, on mutual grounds, apparently, divested the Masons of that era of all prejudices and gave birth to the idea of consolidating all Lodges then in existence in the Philippines under one jurisdiction, which resulted in a common understanding between the conflicting Grand Lodges and, ultimately, the establishment of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines. Lodge Perla del Oriente, No.1034, S.C., continued its adherence to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, maintaining fraternal relationships with the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, and the strong bond of fellowship between these two jurisdictions is attested by the fact that members of the subordinate Lodges of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines are in constant attendance in meetings of Lodge Perla del Oriente, No.1034, S.C. The last global war disrupted the activities of all Masonic organizations in the Philippines. When the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the Philippines in December
1941, and when they occupied the city of Manila on 2nd January 1942, Lodge activities were suspended. The Japanese did not allow any group meetings behind closed doors; therefore, Masonry was suspended in the Philippines. The Plaridel Masonic Temple at 520 San Marcelino Street, Manila where we held our meetings prior to the Japanese occupation, was commandeered by the Japanese Army. The Masonic records and paraphernalia of the Lodges which had formerly held meetings at the Plaridel Masonic Temple were lost, being burned or destroyed by the Japanese. The American civilians and members of Lodges and other foreigners considered enemies of the Japanese were herded into different internment camps. The Filipinos, especially the Masons, were kept under strict surveillance and several were imprisoned and tortured in Fort Santiago as they were known to be helping Americans and citizens of other countries at war with Japan. After the liberation of the Philippines by the armed forces of the United States, several Filipinos, Americans, Chinese and European members of the Lodge promptly exerted efforts to have the Lodge resume its activities under dispensation for the issuance of a duplicate copy of Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. In this connection, Lodge Perla del Oriente, No.1034, S.C., is deeply grateful to Muog Lodge, No.89, F. & A.M., under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, for the permission given to us to hold our first meeting in the post war period at their Masonic Temple, Paranaque, Rizal Province, on 15th December 1945, at 2 p.m., for the installation of Office-bearers of the Lodge who were duly elected in November 1941.
By force of circumstances, after our first meeting at Muog Lodge Hall, we were not allowed to hold another meeting therein and had therefore to seek another sanctuary elsewhere. After several consultations with the Brethren as to where we could hold our meetings, Brother Thomas H. Fenstermacher, our Worshipful Senior Warden, kindly and thoughtfully offered his home located at 427 Interior Tejeron Street, Sta. Ana, Manila, as a temporary Lodge meeting place. His small sala was converted into a Lodge Hall which was duly consecrated at 2 p.m. on 10th February 1946 with Brother Benito Maneze, Immediate Past Master, officiating and assisted by other members of the Lodge. The Right Worshipful Master, the Worshipful Senior and Junior Wardens, the Secretary and the Treasurer utilized small wooden boxes piled up on top of each other serving as pedestals and tables. A small wooden table on which rested the Holy Bible with the Square and Compasses served as our Altar and the three lesser lights were lighted at each of the pedestals of the three Principal Officers of the Lodge. It was necessary to use carpenter's tools for our Masonic Working Tools; the square, compasses and hammers served as gavels. The jewels of the officers, which were luckily saved by Brother James Stevenson, P.M., were strung on cords and twelve white aprons donated by Brother David W. S. Clawson, Right Worshipful Master, were used by the officers. Subsequent donations were received from the Brethren enabling us then to hold our meetings in due form. For several months, without interruption, regular meetings were held at the residence of Brother Fenstermacher. Early in October 1946, the Lodge received an invitation from Brother Louis M. Hausman, Past Master of Manila Lodge, No.1, F. & A.M., and
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mt. Arayat Lodge of Perfection, A. & A.S.R., for Lodge Perla del Oriente, No.1034, S.C., to hold its meetings at the Scottish Rite Temple, 912 (now 1828) Taft Avenue, Manila, which was then being reconstructed. The first meeting of the Lodge was then held at the Scottish Rite Temple on 12th October 1946, and from then on the Scottish Rite Temple has become its permanent residence. It is interesting to note that although Lodge Perla del Oriente, No.1034, S.C., has not considered surrendering its Charter to the Grand Lodge of Scotland to enable it to join the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, its relationship with the latter has been one of friendship and cordiality, evidenced by the presence of several Grand Masters and Grand Lodge Officers of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, likewise by Officers and Brethren from other Lodges, who grace the occasions of Installation of our Office Bearers on the third Saturday of every November of each year, which has become a tradition with Lodge Perla del Oriente No. 1034, S.C. It is the hope of every Perla member that this close relationship between Lodge Perla del Oriente No 1034, under the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, and its subordinate Lodges, shall continue unmarred in the many, many years to come. This History of Perla del Oriente No.1034 was sourced from the Lodge website. The website is currently undergoing major revision so cannot be visited at present. Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 1034 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History. Compiled by Bro. Benito Maneze, Sr., P.M. The SRA76 Magazine is grateful to reader Bro. Cameron Sloan for his proof reading and corrections of this article. Many thanks. Editor.
Famous Freemasons Bernard Spilsbury Sherlock Homes Incarnate
If there ever was an incarnation of the legendary Sherlock Holmes, it would undoubtedly be Bernard Henry Spilsbury, the medical detective. He did more for the advancement of forensic medicine than any man in history, particularly in the application of the science in its legal context to the criminal courts of justice. Through a highly eventful and fulfilling medical career, Spilsbury found, or maybe created, time for full-fledged Masonic activity in several Lodges and Orders. Coincidentally, some of the accused involved in his cases were also Freemasons. Sadly, he suffered personal tragedies and the added burden of the repugnant actions of
others finally led him to take his own life on 17 December 1947.
history in this particular field of medical discipline.
Bernard Spilsbury, born in Bath in January 1877, could trace his family association with medicine as far back as the late 17th century. His disciplinarian father, James Spilsbury, and his churchgoing mother, Marion Joy of Stafford, moved to Leamington in 1876, where their four children were born.
It was two years after his marriage to Edith Thorton that Spilsbury took on the mantle of chief pathologist at St Mary’s from his mentor, Dr Pepper. Now wellknown in the medical community, it was the Crippen case in 1910, a landmark in forensic medicine, that made him a household name.
Bernard was the eldest and destined to become a doctor, not least because it was the wish of his father – and his father was a strong-willed man. With his brother Leonard and sisters Constance and Gertrude, Bernard was tutored until the age of 12, when the family moved to London. He went to Leamington and then Owens College and is recorded to have been ordinary in sport and mediocre in his academic studies.
Hawley Harvey Crippen was born in Michigan in 1862 and came to England as a doctor in 1907. He was hanged at Pentonville Prison on 23 November 1910 for the murder of his wife, Kunigunde Mackamotzi, who went by the name of Belle Elmore. Early that year Belle had disappeared. Crippen’s mistress, Ethel le Neve, who was seen wearing Belle’s clothes and jewellery, overtly and shamelessly took her place. To enquirers as to the whereabouts of his wife, Crippen claimed she had returned to the United States.
He grew to become a handsome man, more than six feet in height, quiet and cheerful and always well dressed. In 1893 he was admitted to Magdalen College, Oxford to read Natural Science in preparation for his entry in 1899 to St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. His father’s gift of a new microscope led Bernard to switch from general practice to pathology, and he never looked back. Forensic medicine at this time was not only in its infancy, but still treated with suspicion and even contempt by the medical and legal fraternity. Three key men, all doctors at St Mary’s Hospital, were the pioneers and founding fathers of the new science: Dr A P Luff, William Wilcox and A J Pepper. It was this group that Bernard Spilsbury joined and with them wrote
Following the rumours of Belle’s disappearance, the pair fled on the SS Montrose to Canada, Ethel le Neve disguised as a boy. When the police returned to search their house, they found mutilated remains of a body hidden in the basement. Telegraphic despatches with descriptions of the fugitives led to the arrest of the couple on 31 July 1910 – the first such arrest with the use of the new wireless system. The couple were separately accused and tried at the Old Bailey and Crippen was found guilty. Ethel le Neve was acquitted. Bernard Spilsbury’s evidence, extracted only from a piece of skin from the victim’s belly, was instrumental evidence in the conviction of Crippen. More important, Spilsbury’s demeanour as he gave evidence
through the trial impressed his many colleagues. His official status as police pathologist in England was established. He was celebrated for his evidence at many sensational murder trials, which were popularised by their headline titles: The Brides in the Bath and the Brighton Trunk Murders among many others. Meanwhile, Spilsbury continued his lectures and tutorship at St Mary’s until he had a minor dispute with a colleague who had been impolite. Spilsbury took umbrage and demanded an apology, which was refused. The dispute was brought before the Court of Governors, who totally exonerated Spilsbury, but it was too late and, with considerable reluctance, Spilsbury resigned and left St Mary’s Hospital in 1920. He was received with enthusiasm – as he would have been at any hospital – as lecturer on Morbid Anatomy and Histology at St. Bartholomew’s hospital. Although the move to Bart’s did not change his busy routine of lectures, demonstrations and assistance to coroners and the police, he now joined the Craft. He had previously resisted invitations by his many fellow doctors to become a Freemason. It may have been the change of environment and an awareness of the antiquity of Bart’s, the oldest hospital in England, that may have induced, maybe inspired him at the relatively late age of 44, to do so and he took to Freemasonry with enthusiasm. On 15 June 1920 he was initiated into Rahere Lodge No. 2546, named after the founder of St. Bartholomew’s priory and hospital in 1123. In October he was passed and later made a Master Mason on 10 May 1921. He was elected and served as Master
of the Lodge in 1932. By then he had become a Royal Arch Mason, exalted into Rahere Chapter on 8 March 1922 with equal enthusiasm and served as First Principal in 1937. This was only part of his extensive Masonic involvement. On 3 May 1923 he was advanced in the Mark Degree at Abernethy Mark Lodge, then No. 722, consecrated in 1920 as a medical Mark Lodge associated with Barts. He was installed as Master on 24 November 1933. In 1936 the Lodge amalgamated with Sir Joseph Dimsdale Lodge No. 569 and, rather unusually, took on the earlier number, retaining its own name. He also joined both Sancta Maria Lodge No. 2682 and St. Mary Magdalen Lodge No. 1523. He progressed to become Master of both Lodges. The former Lodge was founded on 15 November 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee and consisted entirely of medical staff and students. Spilsbury became Master in May 1941, the year of the tragic death of his son Peter, who had been initiated in Apollo University Lodge No. 357, Oxford, and who was also a member of St Mary Magdalen Lodge. This Lodge was founded in 1874 and consisted of members of Magdalen College, Oxford who had moved to London. On 21 December 1923 Spilsbury was informed that a knighthood would be conferred on him in the New Year’s Honours list. It was a well-deserved recognition. Meanwhile, his Masonic career progressed with equal success. In 1935 he was appointed to Grand Rank as a Past Junior Grand Deacon. Supreme Grand Chapter made him a Grand Officer in 1939 when he was appointed Past Assistant Grand Sojourner. It is not clear why he joined both the Chapter and Lodge of
Friendship No. 6, in that order, in 1939 and 1940 respectively. He resigned from both in March 1946. Among the thousands of cases in which Spilsbury participated, two are of particular Masonic interest. In the trial of Herbert Rouse Armstrong for murder, an extraordinary number of the key participants were Freemasons. Let it be emphasised that Freemasonry played no part whatsoever in any of the proceedings and is mentioned merely as a coincidental factor.
pharmacist, Bro J F Davies, Martin’s fatherin-law, who alerted the police as to his suspicions. Davies had resigned from the Loyal Hay Lodge in 1899.
Curiously, Armstrong would have got away with his first crime but for the attempted poisoning of his rival solicitor Martin, a fellow member of the same Loyal Hay Lodge. When suspicion of attempted poisoning fell on Armstrong, his wife’s body was exhumed and traces of arsenic were found by Spilsbury, who had only become a Master Mason in May of that same year. Dr Wilcox and Dr Webster, who were the additional pathologists who gave evidence, were both Freemasons as was Hincks, the doctor who had treated Mrs. Armstrong during her last illness.
Judge Darling, who presided at the main court hearing, was not a Freemason. John Hurd, however, the witness at the Assize hearing, and Tunnard Moore, chairman of the Bench at the magistrate’s court hearing, as well as William Rees, the foreman of the jury, all belonged to Loyal Hay Lodge. Armstrong was found guilty of the murder of his wife and hanged on 31 May 1922. He had had a successful Masonic career by any standards. Bro. E H Cleese, who was in the same solicitors’ practice as Oswald Martin, introduced him to Loyal Hay Lodge in Hayon-Wye in 1906. Armstrong served as Master in 1912, Chaplain in 1920 and was appointed a Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon for the Province of Herefordshire in 1921 . The second case involving a Freemason is here being considered out of chronological sequence because of its greater significance to Freemasonry. It is the well-known case of Frederick Henry Seddon, who was tried, convicted and subsequently hanged at Pentonville Prison on 18 April 1912 for the murder of his lodger, Miss Eliza Mary Barrow. On being asked by the clerk of the court if he had anything to say as to why the sentence of death should not be passed against him, Seddon replied at length and appealed to the judge, as a brother Mason and in the name of ‘The Great Architect Of The Universe’ for a reversal of the jury’s finding.
Armstrong had claimed to have purchased arsenic in order to make his own weed killer. The ever-increasing quantities of arsenic were purchased from the local
According to some sources, he gave the First Degree sign, begging for mercy. Judge Bucknill, a prominent Freemason, is recorded to have said, with some emotion:
Altogether ten of the individuals concerned in the case happened to be members of the Craft. Herbert Armstrong, an English solicitor – the only known solicitor to be hanged for murder – was at the time a Past Master of Loyal Hay Lodge No. 2382 in Herefordshire. He was brought to trial in 1922 for the murder of his wife Katharine and the attempted murder of Oswald Martin.
It is not for me to harrow your feelings – try to make peace with your maker. We both belong to the same Brotherhood, and though that can have no influence with me this is painful beyond words to have to say what I am saying, but our brotherhood does not encourage crime, it condemns it. Then he pronounced the sentence of death. Spilsbury, very much a key player in seeing justice done, was still a young practitioner and not yet himself involved in Freemasonry. His colleagues who provided forensic evidence, however, were Masons. Dr William Henry Wilcox, medical adviser to the Home Office who, as already mentioned, was a member of the Craft, having been initiated on 13 March 1906 in Sancta Maria Lodge, of which Spilsbury was later to become a joining member. So was Dr John Webster, senior official analyst to the Home Office, initiated on 8 June 1909. The Seddon case remains one of considerable controversy. Aged 40 at the time of his trial, Seddon was seen to be an avaricious man whose only motive for the cruel murder of Eliza Mary Barrow was financial gain. He was accused of poisoning her with arsenic obtained from fly strips. The case against him was weak and depended almost entirely on the evidence of Spilsbury, whose expertise even this early in his career was instrumental and impressive. The trial Judge, RW Bro Thomas Townsend Bucknill, Provincial Grand Master for Surrey from 1903 to 1915, was initiated in 1873 in Lodge of Good Report No. 136. As to Frederick Seddon, he was initiated in Stanley Lodge No. 1325, Liverpool, in 1901 and resigned a year later to travel south. In 1905 he is named as a
founding petitioner of Stephens Lodge No. 3089, Bourne End in Buckinghamshire. He resigned from both Lodges in 1906. As successful as his career had been, Spilsbury faced tragedies through his life. In 1940 he suffered a stroke and this was the start of the decline in his health. He had the shocking experience of hearing of his son’s death by way of a note of condolence from a colleague and not knowing which of his two sons had been killed. It was his son Peter, whose passing was announced without comment in open Lodge on 3 February 1941, the meeting at which Bernard Spilsbury was elected Master. It is said that Spilsbury was a changed man thereafter. He lost the spring in his walk and there was a marked decline in his mental alertness. He was a man fatigued and worried with the continuous pressure of unwholesome work. It finally led to his taking his own life on 17 December 1947. His remains were cremated at the Golders Green crematorium. Bernard Spilsbury’s standing as a staunch supporter of truth and justice, those special Masonic characteristics, and as the greatest forensic doctor of all time, will never be erased from memory. This article written by Yasha Beresiner first appeared in the MQ magazine Issue 16 January 2006 Official magazine of the United Grand Lodge of England, to whom our grateful thanks go, ed. Yasha Beresiner’s website can be reached at this link click please visit it
Rays of Masonry â€œWhat Masonry Teachesâ€?
The opportunity for study which Masonry offers is unlimited. Like thought, Masonry has no frontiers. The Ancient Mysteries, the Cathedral Builders, the beginnings of Speculative Masonry, a study of the great Masonic writers, and of the great men whose lives were influenced by Masonryall are subjects which rouse the interested Mason to painstakingly research and study. It is all important. The earnest student who seeks to learn so that he may teach, represents the strongest factor in the efforts of man to perpetuate underlying truths. There is, however, this to remember: that wherever our study may lead, we should be conscious of what we actually have of precious value which we can make use of in our lives and transmit to the lives of others. Where Masonry is derived from is an important study, but more important is the fact that Masonry has a philosophy, a system of morality, truths expressed through symbolism and a way of life. We must remember also that Masonry is for those who are prepared to receive it. What is easily secured is never appreciated. The teachers of Masonry must speak to attentive ears and responsive hearts. In this way the teacher continues to be the pupil, and the pupil becomes the teacher.
Dewey Wollstein 1953.
"I can't just see the idea in founding this new Masonic library," objected a comparatively newly made Master Mason, talking to a group in the anteroom during refreshment. "Books are all right, of course, and libraries are necessary, but why insist on such a complete library for the new Temple?" "Well, why not?" asked someone. "If you follow out the idea to its logical conclusion," answered the new Master Mason, "the Elks ought to have a library and the Knights of Pythias ought to have one. The I.O.O.F. should support a library and the Red Men should have one, too. All the hundred and one fraternities should have libraries and the curious spectacle would be presented of a hundred groups of a few hundred men each, each supporting its own little collection of books. Wouldn't it be much more sensible if they all supported one big collection?"
There was a moment's silence. The group turned questioning eyes to the Old Past Master. "We already support one big collection of books," the Old Past Master began. "All of us here present contribute our quota towards the support of the city library. In practically every town of any size in the nation is a local library, which all support by their proportion of taxes. "But the general library for the general run of people is naturally general in character. It will have books on science and history and travel and adventure and mathematics and botany and business and poetry and art....a great many books on a great many subjects, but no authoritative collection on any one subject. The doctor may use the library for general purposes, but when he wants the last word, he goes to his medical library. The lawyer may use the general library for one purpose or another, but it is either his personal law library or that of his Bar Association which he depends upon for accurate information in regard to a knotty point of law. "A Masonic library may partake of the character of a general library, in that it may have a lot of fiction and current literature. It serves Masons in that way, just as the coffee and sandwich at refreshment serves him. The Lodge isn't and doesn't pretend to be, a restaurant, but it gives him something to eat to make his visit pleasant. The Masonic library isn't, and doesn't pretend to be, a competitor of the city library, but it gives him some fiction and some current literature to serve him at his pleasure." "But the main purpose of a rightly conducted Masonic library is to convey
knowledge to its owners and users. Masonry makes much of the liberal arts and sciences; not to provide the means by which Masons may learn of these is for Masonry to fail in practicing what she teaches. "The Masonic library is poorly conceived and ill furnished which contains only books upon Masonry. A doctor's library which had books only upon office practice and business systems would be of little help to the physician. The Masonic library which has only Masonic history and philosophy, offers but little to the true seeker of light. A Masonic library should be a library of all knowledge, including a great deal on Masonry, but as much on philosophy, science, religion, art, history, that its users have the opportunity to learn. "In the capital of this nation is America's largest and finest collection of books; the Congressional Library, second only to the library of the British Museum in size, and with its volumes far more accessible to readers than that of the English library. But that doesn't prevent the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction from maintaining one of the very finest Masonic libraries in the world. In the great House of the Temple are a hundred thousand books. They are not all books on Masonry, though the Masonic collection is world famous. It is a general library, of general knowledge. Incidentally it contains a wonderful Burnsiana collection, the largest collection of English translations of Goethe's Faust in the world, as well as the priceless Pike manuscripts, some of them not yet in print. "Yet in spite of this there is a Grand Lodge library in the capital of the nation, for the use of Master Masons, and the local Scottish rite bodies got up a library of their
own, by asking members for unwanted books. "I think every Order should have its own library. I see no reason why Elks and Red Men, Pythians and Odd Fellows, should not find equal benefits from libraries of their own. But there is this distinction; Masonry is old, old. It is worldwide. Its history is the history of the world. Its philosophy is the philosophy of all ages. With not the slightest disrespect for the various other fraternal orders, it may truthfully be said that none of them has the lineage, the extent, the spread, the history or the intimate connection with knowledge that is Masonic pride. Therefore, Masonry has, perhaps, an especial need for books, and books, of course, mean a library. "Something has been said about including books in lighter vein in Masonic libraries. I think they should be included. One gives candy to a child to make the taking of medicine easy. We supply entertainment and refreshment to make attendance at specially vital meetings, easy. Why not the inclusion of books of purely entertainment character to make the use of the library easy to those who know little of libraries? As those who once came to scoff remained to pray, so it is often the case that the man who starts browsing in a library after light fiction remains to examine, and be interested by, works of real information. "So, my brethren, I believe we should support our Masonic library to the limit; I believe we should make sacrifices for it, help it, use it. "Masonry has only gentle methods at her hand for the working out of her great purposes. We wield no battleaxe and carry no sword. But....the pen is mightier than the sword, and the book is but the printed
thought which some man penned. Education is Masonry's greatest tool; and books are at once the foundation and the superstructure of education." "I wish I could learn to think first and talk afterwards' said the newly made Master Mason. "I am for all the help we can give." "You see," smiled the Old Past Master, "even talking about a library has help our brother's education." This is the eleventh article in this our regular feature, ‘The Old Past Master,’ each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
THE HANDSHAKE………. The Handshake is one of the most powerful gestures between people. In business it symbolizes closure, affirmation and a contract. It also symbolizes warmth, friendship, trust, and honour. Members of the Masonic fraternity have stretched forth their hands to all men, using the handshake as an act of brotherly love, relief, truth and a general concern for others. The purpose of Freemasonry is quite simple; to strengthen character, promote respect for others and to help those in need.
The Long Way Around is the Best Way Home.
When the poet Dante lost his way in the forest (“gone from the direct path”) he looked to see the first light of dawn vesting on a hill. With the goal in sight, the normal thing for Dante to do was to make a direct assault on the hill towards the sun. Dante’s actions are understandable. He was lost. There was the sun, who leads all wanderers safe through every way, and a hill. Go for it, nothing could be simpler. But, as Dante discovered, nothing could be more false. His path was immediately blocked by three beasts, a panther, a lion, and a she-wolf symbolic of the sins and evils of the world, the epitome of that which confuses and diverts a man from his goal. Driven into the dark, Dante met Virgil, who promised to show him the punishment of Hell and purgatory before he would come into the final presence of Light and Paradise.
The point of the narrative is that all things of greatest concern to man, the long way around is the best way home. In the “Divine Comedy” Dante produced an allegory of human experience, a history of man’s soul struggling through sin to a beautiful land. And these parables, written 700 years ago, teaches man, if he will seek mortal understanding he must be willing to go the long way around. This is a difficult road to follow for the typical Man. We are the beneficiaries of the scientific know-how age, where the mechanical short-cuts are to be rewarded and treasured and where geometry has long taught that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The light bulb is better then the kerosene lantern, the calculator quicker than the abacus, the jet plane faster than the train, and the satellite superior to the telegraph. Despite the advances of the scientific age, there is no easy route to true understanding and no Care package for intuition and insight. Automation may be fine for dispensing instant cash and soft drinks, but intelligence, perception, and understanding only come to the modern Dante when he is willing to take the long road home; study, learning, experience and trial by error. In seeking Masonic membership, by what ever art or skill he may pursue, a man will only gain an intimate knowledge and awareness of Masonry by following a long and demanding road. He who takes a shortcut may pay dues and wear a Masonic pin, but he will miss the rich reward that comes from an exploration and study of Masonic philosophy and history.
By the time a man receives the Master Mason Degree he should have learned the important role Masons have played in the founding of this country, the antiquity of Masonry, how it moved from operative to speculative, and the care and concern Masons show for the distressed and deprived. He should be taught that Masonry offers a great opportunity for self improvement, that it has the aura of romance, the enchantment of history, and the cornucopia of philosophy. And these are only the beginning. There is no short-cut to education. The doctor of medicine studies and interns for years before a human life is placed in his hands. The pilot of a jet passenger plane receives thousands of hours of instruction and practice; million of words are read by the law student, before he tries his first case in court. Dante went through Hell and Purgatory to find Beatrice in Paradise. So man must find patience and perseverance in learning to love his fellow man and in practicing the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. The journey may cover a million miles. Instead of meeting Danteâ€™s panther, lion and she-wolf, he will be confronted with bigotry, prejudice dogmatism, and jealousy. Notwithstanding the almost endless obstacles and obstructions along the way, like Dante, man will discover that, the long way around is the best way home
Article by Ralph Head, Southern California Research Lodge. This is our Regular feature of articles under the title, â€œReflections.â€? Articles from all around the world from a variety of Constitutions and authors and adapted to use in SRA76
Early Masonry The transformation [from a trade organization to modern Freemasonry] began in Scotland, and its key figure was a man who is hardly remembered today. His name was William Schaw (c. 1550 - 1602), and he was master of works to King James VI of Scotland. This position gave him authority over the nation's lodges of masons, and he soon regularized their organisation and incorporated new elements into their practice. In 1598 and 1599, he issued two sets of statutes that were to radically alter the face of Masonry. One of the most curious provisions enjoined the lodge warden to test every applicant for membership in "the art of memorie and science thairof." As I've noted in regard to Giordano Bruno, the Renaissance art of memory involved intense powers of visualization, including the construction of a "memory palace." We do not know whether Schaw introduced the art of memory to the Masonic lodges of Scotland or whether it had been practiced before his time. Nor is it certain that his "art of memorie" was akin to Bruno's; it may have been something simpler designed to facilitate rote learning of rituals. At any rate, this provision suggests that Masonic training at the end of the sixteenth century included some esoteric knowledge." Richard Smoley, Forbidden Faith: The Gnostic Legacy (2006) "The man who more than anyone else deserves the title of creator of modern freemasonry was William Schaw. . . .
As general warden and master of works Schaw issued two codes of statutes, in 1598 and 1599. In these he laid down regulations for the organisation and practice of the mason craft through a system of 'lodges'. . . . What was William Schaw trying to do -and why? At first sight it might seem that his statutes are solely concerned with the organisation and regulation of the working lives of stonemasons. Certainly this was central to his work, but there are enough hints in the statutes themselves, and in evidence which soon follows and relates to developments arising from the statutes, to make a very strong case for arguing that he was doing much more, reviving and developing Medieval masonic mythology and rituals in a Renaissance atmosphere. But naturally this secret and esoteric side of his work was not committed to writing in his statutes. . . . One branch of the Hermetic quest centred attention on the art of memory. . . . In his second code of statutes William Schaw had ordered that all masons be trained in the art of memory and be regularly tested in it. . . . In its most common forms, the art of memory had an architectural framework. To memorise a speech the practitioner created in his mind a complex building with many rooms, furnished with images or symbols in set locations. He then moved mentally through this building on a fixed route, assigning each idea in his speech in turn to one of the images. Then, in giving his speech, he again walked in his mind through this building, and as he came to them the images would remind him in the correct order of the ideas he wished to express. . . .
The great quest was to be pursued through a mystical building, and buildings were the creation of masons/architects. When, late in the seventeenth century, details of the rituals of the early Scottish freemasons become known, the descriptions of the lodge within which rituals were performed, and the symbolic significances assigned to different parts of the lodge and objects in it, this can be interpreted in terms of the lodge being envisaged as a temple of memory, still largely mental but given some concrete reality through the performance of rituals, in a room with, perhaps, marks on the floor indicating its supposed features." David Stevenson, The First Freemasons: "Thus William Schaw, master of works, worked at a court where the art of memory was known and even the king took an interest in it. . . . It is conceivable that the art of memory, in some form, was used by Scottish masons before 1599, for though it can usually only be studied today through the works of the scholars who wrote about it, it was used by men at all levels of society. . . . Moreover, it was of course particularly suitable for helping in the transmission of material regarded as too secret to be committed to writing. . . .The features of the classical art of memory which made it seem particularly relevant to the mason craft are obvious. The art was based on moving through an elaborate building, and it was an art which was believed to give great powers to the adept by vastly increasing the capacity of human memory. . . . What did Schaw and the masons use the art of memory for? The general striving for mystical enlightenment is doubtless present, but, as has already been suggested, it was probably also employed for mundane purposes, such as memorising the Old
Charges. The two are not entirely separate, however: the search for knowledge of the divine was based on Hermetic theories of ancient Egyptian knowledge, and Hermes and Egypt have an important place in th Old Charges. Finally, and most excitingly of all for understanding the emergence of freemasonry, it will be argued in the next chapter that the seventeenth-century masonic lodge may have been in one sense a memory temple, an imaginary building with places and images fixed in it as aids to memorising the secrets of the Mason Word and the rituals of initiation." David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry: "SCHAW MANUSCRIPT This is a code of laws for the government of the Operative Masons of Scotland, drawn up by William Schaw, the Master of the Work to James VI. It bears the following title: "The Statutis and Ordinanceis to be obseruit be all the Maister-Maissounis within this realme sett down be William Schaw, Maister of Wark to his Maieste and general Wardene of the said Craft, with the consent of the Maisteris efter specifeit." As will be perceived by this title, it is in the Scottish dialect. It is written on paper, and dated XXVIII December, 1598, Although containing substantially the general regulations which are to be found in the English manuscripts, it differs materially from them in many particulars. Masters, Fellow Crafts, and Apprentices are spoken of, but simply as gradations of rank, not as Degrees, and the word Lodge or Lodge is constantly used to define the place of meeting. The government of the Lodge was vested in the Warden, Deacons, and Masters, and these the Fellow-Crafts and Apprentices
were to obey. The highest officer of the Craft is called the General Warden. The Manuscript is in possession of the Lodge of Edinburgh, but has several times been published first in the Laws and Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, in 1848 then in the American edition of that work, published by Doctor Robert Morris, in the ninth volume of the Universal Masonic Library; afterward by W. A. Laurie, in 1859, in his History of Freemasonry and the Grand Lodge of Scotland; D. Murray Lyon in History of the Lodge of Edinburgh gives a transcript and the last part in facsimile, and, by W. J. Hughan." Mackey, Encyclopaeia An Article about William Schaw, author of the Schaw Statutes can be found in a back issue of SRA76 Magazine, which can be viewed by clicking this link;
FEBRUARY 2009 What is Masonry? It's not a sign or handshake, a hall where tylers sit, It's not a guarded building, where passwords will admit, It's not a place of symbols, which Wardens oft display, It's not a lodge of members, who meet in white array. It is the home of justice, of liberty and truth, Of loyalty to country, of sympathy for youth, Of succour for a brother, of gentleness and cheer, Of tolerance for neighbours, whose life is often drear.
A Masonic Lodge in the Skies. No invitations were sent out for the meeting at which Aerial Lodge, No. 1, was formed. No high Masonic Dignitaries were present with high official position and elaborate ceremonials to grace the occasion. Only the members were there, and the decision to form the lodge came so suddenly that there was no chance to summon others. In fact a call would have been a practical impossibility, for there was no means by which any one else could have ascended to the meeting place, for it was 6,700 feet high in the clouds. It came about entirely by accident. A midair ascension had been planned from Pittsfield, MA, and the passengers in the Massachusetts, the great balloon of the Aero Club of New England. Nobody could call it a good day for a trip in the air. The clouds were thick and dark, covering the tops of the Berkshire Hills, and the September afternoon was cold and damp. It was only by constant work that the balloon could be made to keep on its upward course. When a distance of 6, 700 feet was reached, which was evidently to be the maximum, owing to the increasing weight of the soaked bag of the balloon, then it was that it was realized that all the members in the party were Masons. ‘What’s the matter with holding a Masonic Meeting in the Clouds?’ ‘This seems to be a suitable place.’ And then and there Aerial Lodge No. 1, was formed.
Ritual was not flawless, for the Senior Warden had only had the work of a Junior Steward and therefore the responses were not altogether appropriate. The Junior Warden, too, was so busy with sand, barometer and stethoscope that he was not always ready, but it was a Masonic meeting just the same and carried out with all the dignity, seriousness and impressive force of a gathering on terra firma. The adjournment came suddenly for the Massachusetts took it into its head to get back to the earth in short form and all the officers were made busy at once. We watched the barometer to note the descent, while another fixed the drop every fifteen seconds and the third threw out sand with quickness as occasion might require. The only element of danger was the fact that the clouds were so thick that there was no knowing just what surface was underneath, and the drop might be made in a bad locality. Aerial Lodge, No. 1, had adjourned in the most inaccessible place in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, so far as moving a balloon was concerned. The voyage in the air had lasted an hour and a half, and in that time, the Massachusetts, while seeming to be entirely motionless, had travelled twenty-two miles, and had served as the place for the first Masonic Meeting ever held in mid-air. This article was sourced from the Craftsman Magazine May, 1910.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: What, do you consider, is the correct position of the Rough and Smooth Ashlars in the Lodge Room? Answer: As to 'What is correct?', since there is no Grand Lodge rule on the subject, the answer may be simply a matter of custom in your Jurisdiction or Province, or in your particular ritual 'Working' if it rules on that subject. In England nowadays, they are generally to be found on the J.Wâ€™s and S.W.'s pedestals; they are also to be seen, occasionally, on the floor, immediately in front of the pedestals. If we go back to our earliest ritual evidence on this subject (i.e., the.Edinburgh Register House MS. of 1696 with the Chetwode Crawley and Kevan MSS. which are virtually identical), there is some real doubt as to the kind of stones that were used in the Lodge. Their earliest description is in the catechism of 1696: Q. Are there any jewells in your lodge? A. Yes, three, Perpend Esler a Square pavement and a broad ovall The texts are unanimous about the square pavement, which appears continuously in later texts and in illustrations of the 'floordrawings' and Tracing Boards right up to the present day. The 'Perpend Esler' was a dressed block of stone, shaped so that it extended right through a wall from one side to the other, to serve as a binding stone. The 'broad ovall' (or Broked Mall in the Chetwode 38 Crawley MS.) is the problem. It may have been a 'broached ornel', i.e., a stone that had been 'broached' (pricked, indented, or furrowed), but it may also have been a
'broaching maul', i.e., a mallet or maul used for indenting or furrowing the stone. Pritchard, in 1730, had the question in a different form: Q. What are the Immoveable Jewels? A. Trasel Board, Rough Ashier, and Broach'd Thurnel. Q. What are their uses? A. Trasel Board for the Master to draw his Designs upon, Rough Ashier for the FellowCraft to try their Jewels upon, and the Broach'd Thurnel for the Enter'd Prentice to learn to work upon. Evidently Prichard was satisfied that his 'Broach'd Thurnel' was another stone and not a mason's tool, and this is probably the earliest text from which we may safely deduce that there were two stones in the lodge- room. In the early years of the first Grand Lodge the stones would probably have been drawn on the floor of the lodge, but they might have been actual stones laid out on the 'drawing' and since practices were not standardized we cannot be sure. The minutes of the Old King's Arms Lodge (now No. 28) on 1 December 1735 speak of 'the ...Foot Cloth made use of at the Initiation of new members' and this must have been an early version of our modern Tracing Board. On the other hand, the records of the Old Dundee Lodge (now No.18), London, show a host of entries from 1748 to the end of the 18th century of payments made to the Tyler for 'Drawing the Lodge' and 'floor-drawings' seem to have been the more general practice. From 1744 onwards, when the printed pictures of the 'Floorcloths' begin to appear frequently in the French exposures (and later from the 1760s in the English
exposures) the Rough and Smooth Ashlars are usually shown in the designs, though not in any fixed position. The earliest version in Le Catechisme des Francs- Macons, 1744, has the rough stone towards the N.E. corner of the design and the polished stone towards the S.E., but later versions do not follow the same layout. Towards the end of the 18th century and in many of the old English lodges today, we find the Rough and Smooth Ashlars placed respectively in the N.E. and S.E. corners of the lodge floor and, from the nature of exhortations which the Candidates receive when placed in those positions. Preston's 'First Lecture of Free- masonry' supports this view: (After the E.A. has been) Entrusted and invested...what is his proper situation in the Lodge? At the north-east corner...or at the right hand of the Master (AOC82, p. 128) Why...at the north-east rather than at any other part of the Lodge? Because there he treads on the foundation stone of the building. To what does it allude? To an established custom of laying the foundation stone...at the north-east corner... In what form does he appear? With his feet formed in a square, body erect and eyes fixed on the Master (ibid. p. 129) Later: Name the immovable jewels.
The rough ashlar, smooth ashlar and the tracing board. What is their use? The first is the representation of the brute stone taken from the quarry, which is assigned to the apprentices...that by their industry it might be brought into due form and made fit for use. The second is the smooth stone, or polished ashlar, which has undergone the skill of the Craftsman and is used by him to adjust his tools... The rough ashlar is an emblem of the human mind in its pristine state... The smooth ashlar is a representation of the mind improved by culture...(ibid., pp. 139/140) At this stage, the position of the FellowCraft is not yet specified. That item appears in Preston's Second Lecture (AQC, Vol. 83, p. 207): What is the proper situation of the newly accepted Fellow-Craft? In the S.E. corner of the Lodge... Why? To mark a distinction from the preceding Degree... Thus we find the N.E. corner as the place for the Rough Ashlar, the E.A.'s foundation stone, symbolically the foundation stone of the spiritual temple which we, as Masons, are to build within ourselves. The position of the Smooth Ashlar -allocated to the Fellow-Craft -is not mentioned by Preston, but the F.C.'s special position is confirmed and I believe that these are indeed, by longstanding custom, the traditional position of the Ashlars, N.E. and S.E. The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
THE BACK PAGE The Old Master He was sitting in a wheelchair, Looking down at the lawn, I thought he might be asleep, Then I saw the old man yawn. I told him I’d come to visit, A big smile lit up his face, He said, “It’s not very often, People visit this old place.” “Pardon my manners young man,” As he offered me a chair, “Would you like a glass of tea, It’s on the table over there.” I begged off the offer, But I said, “I have a surprise, I’ve come to take you to Lodge.” You should’ve seen his eyes. “You know, I’m a Past Master, About three or four times,” He said as matter of fact, “I can work any chair in line.” I felt proud to push his chair, As we headed for my car, I had already checked him out, And signed his pass card. When we drove into the lot, You should’ve heard the cheers, I had a lump in my throat, Down his cheek rolled a tear. The Lodge was filled with Brethren, Who had come to celebrate, Our guest of honour had arrived, The Ladies had baked a cake. We made a special presentation, That brought laughter and tears, For tonight our wise old Master, Had completed sixty-five years. With countless years of service, In this Lodge in his hometown,
He did it all with a gentle heart, And the strongest grip around. His tired old voice cracked, But his mind was sharp and clear, As he took the microphone, Sitting there in his wheelchair. We all sat down at tables, With hot coffee in our cups, He said, “I’d like to take you back, To when I was just a pup.” “You see, there’s been times, This old Lodge almost went dark, We were down to just a few, And some didn’t know their part.” “But we kept on working hard, And doing everything we could, To get more men interested, In the Craft of Brotherhood.” “Oh there’s all kinds of things, That’s changed over the years, But younger men not coming in, Is one of our biggest fears.” “You see, it was different then, Than it is this day and time, I remember how strict it was, You didn’t dare cross the line.” “About asking a man to join, When you knew he was good, God and family came first, This the Lodge understood.” “We had to wait until he asked, About how to become one of us, Then we could tell him the truth, About fellowship, honour and trust.”
“So we’d take the best men, And gently show ‘em the light, Just look at all the Brethren, That showed up here tonight.” “If I could live my life all over, And I could rewrite every page, I’d hit a few bumps a little softer, But there’s nothing I would change.” “Each time I was asked to teach, Oh it made me feel so good, To lead you gently to the light, Until I knew you understood.” “I love you all my Brethren, I enjoyed being there for you, And I’ll tell each one tonight, You’ve been there for me too.” He talked for half an hour, As we travelled back in time, He had taken us on a journey, And we hung on every line. It was late when we got back, But he was still wide awake, As I pushed his wheelchair inside, He gave the nurse a piece of cake. Until the old Master is called, To the Grand Lodge On High, His memories will be filled, With the celebration tonight. A few years have come and gone, Since we honoured him that night, The old Master even helped me, Raise my grandson to light.
His kind and gentle manner, Stands tall among the best, Today he made the final journey, “We worked hard and did our best, We laid the old Master to rest. To be good examples among men, We all Until next Month know from reading the Bible, The Editor. There’s not a man without sin.”
The Masonic Magazine of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.